When To Replace A Dead Paddle For Long Lasting Fun?

Pickleball paddles are the most crucial component of the game. Your entire skill depends on the good performance of your paddle and if your paddle isn’t at its best, you won’t be either. You must keep in mind that pickleball paddles aren’t indestructible. They are bound to get worn out over time. However, with proper care and maintenance, their lifespan can be extended to its maximum limit. In this post, I will be sharing with you the essential factors that play a crucial role in determining the lifespan of a pickleball paddle and how to make it last longer. Let’s begin with the foundations.

Essential Factors That Determine Lifespan of Pickleball Paddles

One of the most common questions that people often ask themselves is “How long do pickleball paddles last?”. In my opinion, the question has no definite answer as the lifespan depends on several factors. Although generally, the lifespan for the average use of a good pickleball paddle is 2-3 years, for players who use it often, the paddle hardly lasts a year. The lifespan mainly depends on the type of material used in the construction of the paddle. Composite paddles are bound to last longer as compared to other paddles as they have more flexibility. Then comes your play routine and intensity. If you use the paddle with higher intensity and frequency, it is natural that they will wear out sooner.

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Furthermore, if you are not careful with your paddle, like you don’t clean it properly after use or leave it out in the sun or in your car during summer, it will deteriorate much faster. The quality of construction is also impactful. Paddles manufactured by well-reputed brands that maintain the standards of quality will last much longer than cheap knockoffs.

How Can You Tell If A Pickleball Paddle Is Worn Out?

There are two stages, first in which the pickleball paddle starts showing the signs of wear, and second when it is completely worn out or dead. Recognizing the signs of wear early will help you be prepared for the replacement and can prevent a blunder during the gameplay. So, it is important that you keep track of these signs.

A paddle that has started to deteriorate will not provide as much ball grip as it used to, which means there will be less spin and control on the ball. If you are a beginner, you might not be able to judge from this factor. In that case, hear for the acoustic change. If hitting the ball sounds a bit different than it used to, it can be a sign of damage and wear. There can be signs of visible damage and wear as well.

Over time this deterioration will go beyond a certain point where the paddle will be significantly impacting your performance and hindering you from doing your absolute best on the game. It will start feeling off as your shots won’t pack as much power or spin as before. You will feel that you have less control of the ball. At that time, you can declare your paddle officially dead and move for replacement.

There can be other signs of this demise. Brush your hand over the surface of your paddle. If you feel any cracks, dents, or breaks across the surface of your paddle, you should go for a replacement immediately. For paddles that come with a textured surface, the texture on the surface will become smooth and you can take that as a sign for replacement. Handles can also get worn out. When they are near their end, they will start flexing or will feel at the brink of snapping.

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Extend The Lifespan - Preventive Measures

Although there is no way you can make your paddle indestructible or immortal, there are still multiple methods to increase its lifespan. Let me share some of the most effective measures that can help you increase the life of your pickleball paddles. Mostly, they involve proper care and maintenance but there are some technical aspects that you must pay attention to.

First of all, other than smashing with pickleball balls, consider the paddle a delicate instrument. So, you must not throw it in anger, toss it, or use it for clanking in place of hi-fiving. All of these activities can harm your paddle and make it wear out sooner. Also, abstain from picking the ball up from the ground using the paddle. It might seem like a harmless activity, but it can significantly reduce the lifespan of your pickleball paddle.

After each game and before storing your paddle, you must clean the paddle properly. There are several ways to clean the paddle. You can use a magic eraser, a cleaning kit, or home remedies. You must clean both the hitting surface and the handle to ensure a longer life for both parts. Refrain from leaving the handle in your car as the heat can also impact the lifespan and affect the deterioration of your paddles.

How Long Do Pickleball Balls Last?

Just like the pickleball paddles, the balls also come with an expiry and do not last forever. However, while paddles can be used for years, the balls are not so lucky. Most people prefer using a new ball for every game, just to ensure that there are no defects or even risks of lower performance. However, knowing how exactly your balls can last longer and how you can tell when a ball has gone bad will help you save money on the extra balls.

Generally, any cracks, dents, or deformities directly put the ball out of commission. You should not use a ball that has any of the visible signs of wear or damage. Make sure that the ball is in proper shape and if you notice anything, simply dispose of the ball. There is no recycling or restoration. You should get a new ball. If your ball feels a little mushy, push it while comparing it with a new ball. If it feels softer or mushy, get rid of the ball.

Using the balls properly and not hitting them on the ground when they are not supposed to be hit will help you make them last much longer. These balls are made for rallying and aren’t like tennis balls. So, you should avoid hitting them too much on the ground. If the balls wear out sooner, another reason might be using a hard and powerful paddle that packs a punch. Storing the balls properly will help you retain them for longer periods. They should be stored in a cool dry place and away from sunlight.

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What Can I Do With Old Pickleball Paddles & Balls?

There are not many things you can do with worn-out paddles and balls. However, one is only limited by one’s imagination. Let’s go in order. Can they be restored or recycled? Probably not. However, you can store the paddle as a backup to use when you have nothing else available, provided it is not completely broken. If you are a professional player and let go of the paddle as soon as there is a decrease in performance, you can donate these paddles to a good cause.

Balls on the other hand can neither be kept as backup nor donated. They are unrecyclable. So, for completely dead paddles and balls, there is only one thing left: DIY and art. You can use them in your personal art projects for aesthetic effects. Pickleball balls can be melted for art effects as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Know If Your Pickleball Paddle Is Worn Out?

There are several signs. First of all, the paddle will just feel off when you hit the ball with it. There will be multiple other signs as well. You can look for physical damage or hear for acoustic change between different hitting areas of the paddle’s surface.

How Many Games Does A Pickleball Paddle Last?

On average, the paddle should last for 1 to 3 years, with an average of 2 games a week. However, the intensity of play, duration of play, and frequency of play can also significantly impact the lifespan of the paddle.

Do Pickleball Paddles Break Easily?

No, they do not break easily. If you haven’t purchased a cheap knockoff, then it should last for more than a year. Even with intense playing, the paddle should last for 6 months. Hence, they are quite durable and do not break easily.


The lifespan of your pickleball paddle is not specific but on average a good paddle lasts anywhere between 1 to 2 years. It is good practice to check the paddle for signs of wear every now and then. If there are any signs of visible damage or wear, then you must replace the paddle immediately. With proper care and maintenance, you can make your paddle last a long longer and extend its lifespan.

Sophia William

An accomplished author with an impressive history of 6 years of contributions to renowned informational websites.

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